Let’s dive into the ABCs of reproductive hormones
When you first visit The Fertility Center of Las Vegas, you’ll probably hear a lot of three letter acronyms. Many of these refer to reproductive hormones that your doctor will assess with fertility bloodwork. Our Las Vegas fertility doctors want to make sure you understand what they’re talking about when they say something like, “We’re going to test your AMH and FSH.” That’s why we’re providing a quick overview of these important hormones.
What types of hormones do we assess with fertility bloodwork?
Our Las Vegas fertility doctors often order fertility bloodwork for both male and female patients. However, for this blog, we will only focus on the reproductive hormones we frequently examine in female patients. Here’s a list of a few of the most common ones.
Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) is a hormone that comes from your growing ovarian follicles, which contain the eggs. The larger your egg supply, the higher your AMH level will be.
Estradiol (E2) also comes from your ovaries. As your follicles grow, your body produces and secretes estradiol. A high estradiol level can indicate a diminished ovarian reserve (egg supply).
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) comes from the pituitary gland at the base of your brain. This hormone stimulates the growth of your egg-containing follicles. A high FSH level suggests a diminished ovarian reserve.
Luteinizing hormone (LH) is also secreted by the pituitary gland, and it stimulates the ovarian follicles. Either bloodwork or a urine ovulation predictor kit can measure LH. Testing should reveal that LH levels quickly rise right before ovulation (the release of an egg).
Progesterone comes from the ovaries, and it’s an important reproductive hormone for pregnancy and ovulation. Testing your progesterone levels can help determine whether you’ve ovulated and whether supplemental progesterone will be necessary during the early weeks of pregnancy.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is secreted by the pituitary gland and causes the thyroid gland to secrete hormones. Both an underactive and an overactive thyroid can lead to infertility.
What happens if you have abnormal levels of reproductive hormones?
After receiving the results of your fertility bloodwork, our Las Vegas fertility doctors will review it. If any of your reproductive hormones are abnormal, your doctor may be able to recommend treatments to correct them. For example, if you have an underactive thyroid, your doctor may prescribe medication to regulate it.
However, it’s not always possible to improve your hormone levels. For example, there is no proven treatment for a low AMH level. That being said, women with this issue can often still conceive with help from in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Contact us if you would like to learn more about fertility bloodwork and treatments.